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Here's Why I Think Rio Tinto Group (LON:RIO) Might Deserve Your Attention Today

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·3-min read
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Like a puppy chasing its tail, some new investors often chase 'the next big thing', even if that means buying 'story stocks' without revenue, let alone profit. But as Peter Lynch said in One Up On Wall Street, 'Long shots almost never pay off.'

In contrast to all that, I prefer to spend time on companies like Rio Tinto Group (LON:RIO), which has not only revenues, but also profits. Even if the shares are fully valued today, most capitalists would recognize its profits as the demonstration of steady value generation. Loss-making companies are always racing against time to reach financial sustainability, but time is often a friend of the profitable company, especially if it is growing.

Check out our latest analysis for Rio Tinto Group

How Fast Is Rio Tinto Group Growing?

If you believe that markets are even vaguely efficient, then over the long term you'd expect a company's share price to follow its earnings per share (EPS). That means EPS growth is considered a real positive by most successful long-term investors. It certainly is nice to see that Rio Tinto Group has managed to grow EPS by 18% per year over three years. As a general rule, we'd say that if a company can keep up that sort of growth, shareholders will be smiling.

I like to see top-line growth as an indication that growth is sustainable, and I look for a high earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) margin to point to a competitive moat (though some companies with low margins also have moats). Rio Tinto Group shareholders can take confidence from the fact that EBIT margins are up from 38% to 46%, and revenue is growing. That's great to see, on both counts.

In the chart below, you can see how the company has grown earnings, and revenue, over time. To see the actual numbers, click on the chart.

earnings-and-revenue-history
earnings-and-revenue-history

You don't drive with your eyes on the rear-view mirror, so you might be more interested in this free report showing analyst forecasts for Rio Tinto Group's future profits.

Are Rio Tinto Group Insiders Aligned With All Shareholders?

We would not expect to see insiders owning a large percentage of a UK£89b company like Rio Tinto Group. But we do take comfort from the fact that they are investors in the company. To be specific, they have US$31m worth of shares. That's a lot of money, and no small incentive to work hard. Despite being just 0.03% of the company, the value of that investment is enough to show insiders have plenty riding on the venture.

Does Rio Tinto Group Deserve A Spot On Your Watchlist?

You can't deny that Rio Tinto Group has grown its earnings per share at a very impressive rate. That's attractive. Further, the high level of insider ownership impresses me, and suggests that I'm not the only one who appreciates the EPS growth. Fast growth and confident insiders should be enough to warrant further research. So the answer is that I do think this is a good stock to follow along with. We don't want to rain on the parade too much, but we did also find 3 warning signs for Rio Tinto Group (1 doesn't sit too well with us!) that you need to be mindful of.

You can invest in any company you want. But if you prefer to focus on stocks that have demonstrated insider buying, here is a list of companies with insider buying in the last three months.

Please note the insider transactions discussed in this article refer to reportable transactions in the relevant jurisdiction.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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